Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070073472 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/474,191
Publication date29 Mar 2007
Filing date23 Jun 2006
Priority date29 Mar 2001
Also published asUS7330786, US20080201071, USRE46109
Publication number11474191, 474191, US 2007/0073472 A1, US 2007/073472 A1, US 20070073472 A1, US 20070073472A1, US 2007073472 A1, US 2007073472A1, US-A1-20070073472, US-A1-2007073472, US2007/0073472A1, US2007/073472A1, US20070073472 A1, US20070073472A1, US2007073472 A1, US2007073472A1
InventorsGilad Odinak, Alastair Sutherland
Original AssigneeGilad Odinak, Sutherland Alastair B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle navigation system and method
US 20070073472 A1
Abstract
A vehicle navigation system and method. The system includes a unit located in a vehicle and coupled to a first network, a traffic information center coupled to a second network, and a server coupled to the first and second networks. A trip plan is generated according to navigation information, vehicle coordinates and trip request information received from the unit, and road information received from the traffic information center. The trip plan is sent to the unit for presentation. The trip plan includes trip overview information and voice prompts associated with one or more landmarks. A trip plan may be a tourist trip plan.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(21)
1. A vehicle navigation method comprising: initiating a trip request, including trip request information; determining vehicle coordinates; sending vehicle coordinates and the entered trip request information to a server over a network; retrieving at the server road information based on the vehicle coordination and entered trip request information from an information center over a network connection; generating a trip plan according to navigation information stored in a memory associated with the server, the vehicle coordinates, the trip request information, and the retrieved road information, wherein the generated trip plan includes a table of locations of the trip plan with associated navigation prompts; sending the generated trip plan table to the vehicle over the network; comparing present vehicle coordinates to the trip plan table; and if, according to the comparison, the vehicle coordinates are within a threshold value from a location in the table, presenting the navigation prompt associated with the location in the table that is within the threshold value of the vehicle's location.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the road information includes traffic information.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the navigation prompts include voice prompts.
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising determining if the vehicle is adhering to the trip plan, wherein determining adherence comprises: determining distance of the vehicle coordinates to the trip plan; and if the vehicle coordinates are not within a threshold value from the trip plan, making a request to pause the trip plan, and resuming the trip plan when instructed.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein generating comprises generating trip overview information, and further comprising: presenting the trip overview information within the vehicle.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein the trip overview information includes a voice prompt that includes legs of the trip plan that meet a predetermined trip overview requirement.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the trip plan further includes one or more voice prompts associated with one or more landmarks.
8. A vehicle navigation system comprising: a unit located in a vehicle, the unit comprising: a first component configured to initiate a trip request; a second component configured to determine vehicle coordinates; and a user interface; a traffic information center coupled to a network configured to generate road information; and a server comprising: a receiving component configured to receive the determined vehicle coordinates and the trip request information from the unit over a network; a component configured to retrieve road information from the traffic information center based on the received vehicle coordinates and the trip request information; a memory configured to store navigation information; a trip plan component configured to generate a trip plan according to the navigation information, the received vehicle coordinates, the trip request information, and the retrieved road information, wherein the generated trip plan includes a table of locations of the trip plan with associated navigation prompts; and a transmission component configured to send the generated trip plan to the unit, wherein the user interface is configured to present the navigation prompts based on present vehicle location information.
9. The system of claim 8, wherein the user interface comprises: a component configured to compare present vehicle coordinates to the trip plan table, wherein the user interface presents a navigation prompt, if, according to the comparison component, the vehicle coordinates are within a threshold value from a location in the table associated with the navigation prompt.
10. The system of claim 8, wherein the road information includes traffic information.
11. The system of claim 8, wherein the navigation prompts include voice prompts.
12. The system of claim 8, wherein the unit further comprises: a component configured to determine distance of the vehicle coordinates to the trip plan; and a component configured to make a request to pause the trip plan, and to resume the trip plan when instructed, if the vehicle coordinates are determined to not be within a threshold value from the trip plan.
13. The system of claim 8, wherein the trip plan component is further configured to generate trip overview information, and the user interface is further configured to present the trip overview information within the vehicle.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein the trip overview information includes a voice prompt that includes legs of the trip plan that meet a predetermined trip overview requirement.
15. The system of claim 8, wherein the trip plan further includes one or more voice prompts associated with one or more landmarks.
16. A vehicle navigation method comprising: initiating a trip request, including trip request information; determining vehicle coordinates; sending vehicle coordinates and the entered trip request information to a server over a network; retrieving at the server road information based on the vehicle coordinates and entered trip request information from an information center over a network connection; generating a trip plan according to navigation information stored in a memory associated with the server, the vehicle coordinates, the trip request information, and the retrieved road information, wherein the generated trip plan includes an electronic map and a table of locations of the trip plan with associated navigation prompts; sending the generated trip plan table to the vehicle over the network; comparing present vehicle coordinates to the trip plan table; if, according to the comparison, the vehicle coordinates are within a threshold value from a location in the table, presenting the navigation prompt associated with the location in the table that is within the threshold value of the vehicle's location; sending the sent electronic map to a personal data assistant (PDA); and displaying the electronic map on a display of the PDA based on the vehicle's present location.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the electronic map is wirelessly sent to the PDA.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein the electronic map includes detail information that is displayed on the display of the PDA upon selection of an associated feature using a user interface device of the PDA.
19. A vehicle navigation system comprising: a unit located in a vehicle, the unit comprising: a first component configured to initiate a trip request; a second component configured to determine vehicle coordinates; and a user interface; a personal data assistant (PDA) coupled to the unit, the PDA comprising a display and a user interface; a traffic information center coupled to a network configured to generate road information; and a server comprising: a receiving component configured to receive the determined vehicle coordinates and the trip request information from the unit over a network; a component configured to retrieve road information from the traffic information center based on the received vehicle coordinates and the trip request information; a memory configured to store navigation information; a trip plan component configured to generate a trip plan according to the navigation information, the received vehicle coordinates, the trip request information, and the retrieved road information, wherein the generated trip plan includes an electronic map and a table of locations of the trip plan with associated navigation prompts; and a transmission component configured to send the generated trip plan to the unit, wherein the user interface is configured to present the navigation prompts based on present vehicle location information, wherein the electronic map is sent to the PDA and the PDA displays the electronic map on the display.
20. The system of claim 19, wherein the electronic map is wirelessly sent from the unit to the PDA.
21. The system of claim 19, wherein the electronic map includes detail information that is displayed on the display of the PDA upon selection of an associated feature using the user interface of the PDA.
Description
    PRIORITY CLAIM
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/352,520 filed Feb. 10, 2006 which is a reissue application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,691,026 issued Feb. 10, 2004 which claims priority from earlier filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/364,538 filed Mar. 15, 2002, and is a Continuation-in-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/884,856 filed Jun. 18, 2001, which claims priority from earlier filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/280,378 filed Mar. 29, 2001 all of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety herein.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This invention relates generally to communication and computing systems and methods and, more specifically, to a system and method for directing a motorist to a destination.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    With advances in on-board vehicle computer systems and wireless technologies, vehicle navigation systems that provide users with current location and driving directions to a desired destination have become a reality. Vehicle navigation systems have taken one of two forms: on-board systems and network-based systems. On-board systems are driven by a computer and associated database resident in each vehicle. These systems generate driving instructions based on user voice or keyboard input and map information stored in the on-board computing system. Network-based navigation systems do not rely on an on-board computer and associated database, but rather provide a voice interface to an off-vehicle computer or human information provider.
  • [0004]
    Significant disadvantages exist with both forms of vehicle navigation systems. The on-board navigation system requires expensive and quickly outdated computer hardware. Moreover, with the on-board computing approach, the database needs to be updated periodically to maintain current navigation information. Indeed, such systems can never really be up to date or comprehensive as they rely on external updates, typically via a CD-ROM or other removable electronic storage medium. The network-based system requires an open wireless link to the server. In these systems, the user typically dials a number and gives their starting and ending addresses (current location and destination). The system computes the route and vocally recites it to the user turn by turn. If the user hangs up, or is otherwise disconnected, they need to call again and give their new location and the destination address. Maintaining an active phone connection, especially in a situation involving long distance travel, is inefficient and expensive, as well as distracting to the vehicle user.
  • [0005]
    In addition, existing vehicle navigation systems provide directions based on street and road names. Directions provided in this manner do not provide a great comfort to drivers, because drivers new to an area are uncomfortable when traveling without a distinct knowledge that they are in the correct place.
  • [0006]
    Thus, there is a need for a system and method that addresses the disadvantages associated with current attempts at vehicle navigation systems.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    The present invention provides a vehicle navigation system and method. The system includes a unit located in a vehicle and coupled to a first network, a traffic information center coupled to a second network, and a server coupled to the first and second networks. The unit includes a first component that initiates a trip request, a second component that determines vehicle coordinates, and a user interface. The traffic information center generates road information. The server includes a receiving component that receives the determined vehicle coordinates and the trip request information from the unit over a network. The server also includes a component that retrieves road information from the traffic information center based on the received vehicle coordinates and the trip request information, and memory that stores navigation information. The server includes a trip plan component that generates a trip plan according to the navigation information, the received vehicle coordinates, the trip request information, and the retrieved road information, and a transmission component that sends the generated trip plan to the unit. The generated trip plan includes a table of locations of the trip plan with associated navigation prompts. The user interface presents the navigation prompts based on present vehicle location information.
  • [0008]
    In accordance with further aspects of the invention, the user interface includes a component that compares present vehicle coordinates to the trip plan table. The user interface presents a navigation prompt, if, according to the comparison component, the vehicle coordinates are within a threshold value from a location in the table associated with the navigation prompt.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with still further aspects of the invention, the unit further includes a component that determines distance of the vehicle coordinates to the trip plan. If the vehicle coordinates are determined not to be within a threshold value from the trip plan, a component makes a request to pause the trip plan, and to resume the trip plan when instructed.
  • [0010]
    In accordance with yet other aspects of the invention, the trip plan component generates trip overview information.
  • [0011]
    In accordance with other aspects of the invention, the trip plan further includes one or more voice prompts associated with one or more landmarks.
  • [0012]
    In accordance with further aspects of the invention, the present invention generates tourist information based on the vehicle location information at a server, sends the tourist information from the server to the vehicle over the network, and presents the tourist information in the vehicle.
  • [0013]
    As will be readily appreciated from the foregoing summary, the invention provides a system and method for easing the burden of driving in unfamiliar areas.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    The preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating the general architecture of a system that operates in accordance with the present invention; and
  • [0016]
    FIGS. 2-4 are flow charts illustrating various embodiments performed by the system shown in FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0017]
    The present invention, as shown in FIG. 1, is a vehicle navigation system 10 that includes a vehicle 12 with an in-vehicle telematic control unit (TCU) 14. TCU 14 is in wireless communication with a server 16 over a network 18. Network 18 preferably includes components for receiving wireless signals from TCU 14 and converting the signals for wire or wireless transmission to server 16. The network 18 is preferably the Internet, but could be any public or private data network. Network 18 includes a gateway (not shown) that can send and receive wireless signals to and from TCU 14, and can communicate through other components (e.g., routers) in the network to server 16. The wireless signals include information that is preferably in packet form, although the information may be in alternative forms. TCU 14 includes a processor 20 coupled to a user interface 22, a global positioning system (GPS) unit 24, a radio module 26, and local storage or memory 28. User interface 22 preferably includes a speaker and a microphone (not shown), and may include a display. The user interface may also include on-or-off screen user interface buttons. Radio module 26 is capable of sending and receiving both voice and data. Server 16 includes a processor 30 and a database 32 that holds vehicle navigation information: maps, road conditions and terrain, lane information and changes, touring instructions, etc. Server 16 also receives road and traffic information over network 18 from a traffic information center 40, such as a local news agency or government transportation department.
  • [0018]
    System 10 of the present invention minimizes the amount of airtime used between TCU 14 and server 16 to send a trip plan. When a user asks the system for directions, the vehicle's local coordinates (as determined by GPS unit 24) are sent from TCU 14 to server 16 over network 18. The user also specifies their destination to the TCU. Entry of the user's navigation instruction request, including the destination information, is preferably done vocally through the microphone, but may be accomplished by other data entry means, such as via user interface buttons. The TCU transmits the vocalized destination to server 16. The server calculates the trip plan and generates a table of locations (expressed as location coordinates, such as GPS coordinates) and the corresponding navigation prompts (e.g. turn left onto Howel St.). These navigation prompts are preferably voice prompts, but may include other forms of user notification, such as textual messages or different audible, visual, or other signals. The table with navigation prompts is sent to TCU 14 in vehicle 12. In an alternate embodiment, the navigation prompts are sent as an audio file (assuming voice prompts), such as a WAV file or an MP3 file.
  • [0019]
    In another embodiment, the table includes locations identified in text form that are displayed or converted to audio by a text-to-speech (TTS) component of processor 20. The navigation prompts could also include recordings of common words such as “turn,” “left,” “onto,” “street,” and “avenue,” or segments of words (i.e. “turn left onto”). The word or segment recordings are sent once by server 16 to TCU 14 and stored in TCU 14, or are previously saved in TCU 14. The sent trip plan table includes a location voice prompt (i.e., “Howell Street”) and an address identifier. TCU 14 generates a voice direction instruction by combining the stored word or segment recording associated with the address identifier and the location voice prompt. As the vehicle moves according to the trip plan and arrives at a location whose GPS coordinates match those of an entry in the table, the corresponding voice prompt is played through the speakers to the system user. This process is described in more detail in FIG. 2.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of a process performed by system 10 shown in FIG. 1. First, at block 50, the user initiates a trip request. Trip request initiation can occur in a number of ways. For example, the user may select a trip request button included in user interface 22, or speak a start trip request command into the microphone that is interpreted by voice recognition software executed by processor 20; either action causes processor 20 to begin a trip request. At blocks 52 and 54, the initiated trip request causes TCU 14 to send the vehicle's GPS coordinates and any user-entered instructions of the destination to server 16. At block 56, server 16 interprets the voice instructions to determine the destination. Interpreting includes performing voice recognition processing. Next, at block 58, server 16 generates a trip plan according to traffic and road maintenance information retrieved from the traffic information center 40, vehicle navigation information such as stored map or other navigation information, the vehicle GPS coordinates, and the interpreted voice instructions of the destination. At block 60, a table of locations is generated for the trip plan. The table includes trip plan information, such as landmarks, turns, road changes, or other significant travel-related information. Each location entry in the table includes an associated voice or text prompt. For example, a voice prompt may be “turn left on Elm Street, you should see a taco restaurant on the corner.” The number of landmarks used in a trip plan can vary depending upon user desires for navigating with more or less landmarks. At block 62, the trip plan including the table is sent to the TCU.
  • [0021]
    At decision block 64, once the vehicle receives the trip plan table, TCU 14 determines if the vehicle is adhering to the trip plan. The TCU periodically checks the vehicle's GPS location and determines if it is on the trip plan or within a threshold value from the trip plan. This threshold value may be a function of the distance from a known location in the trip plan, or location relative to known geographic marks, or some combination of various factors. Within the threshold value, the system can document the present location of the vehicle in relation to the trip plan and chart the navigational path to return to the trip plan or a modified trip plan. If the vehicle is not adhering to the trip plan, the process continues as shown in FIG. 3. If the TCU determines the vehicle is adhering to the trip plan, the TCU determines whether the vehicle is at an identified location within the trip plan table (decision block 68). If the vehicle is not at a location identified in the trip plan table, the process continues checking locations according to decision blocks 64 and 68. If the vehicle is at a location in the trip plan table or within a threshold value from a location in the table, TCU 14 plays the voice prompt associated with the location in the table that corresponds to the vehicle's location (block 70). In another embodiment, voice recordings associated with pre-stored symbols are played in series with a proper-noun street identifier. Then, the process continues checking vehicle location according to decision blocks 64 and 68.
  • [0022]
    As shown in FIG. 3, if it is determined, at decision block 64, that the vehicle is not adhering to the trip plan, a voice prompt asks the user if they are taking a temporary detour from the trip plan and plan on returning to the trip plan, or are canceling the trip plan (decision block 71). The voice prompt is stored at TCU 14 or sent to TCU 14 from server 16. If the user responds with a desire to discontinue the trip plan, the trip plan is canceled (block 72). However, if the user responds with an indication that they do not desire to cancel the trip plan, for example because of a detour for food or other reasons, TCU 14 or server 16 inquires whether the user would like to continue with the present trip plan or would like a new trip plan after the detour (decision block 74). If the user responds with a request to continue using the present trip plan, TCU 14 present voice prompts from the present trip plan after the user indicates a restart (block 76). However, if the user responds with a request for a new trip plan, TCU 14 sends present vehicle GPS coordinates to server 16 (block 78). Then, the process reverts to block 58 in FIG. 2 using the new vehicle coordinate and the previous voice instructions of the destination.
  • [0023]
    In an alternate embodiment, the system may cache parts of a voice prompt that are later combined by processor 20 to create a navigation instruction. For example, TCU 14 receives the following voice prompts from server 16:
  • [0024]
    (a) “turn left onto Howell Street”;
  • [0025]
    (b) “turn left onto 4th Avenue”.
  • [0026]
    A caching component performed by processor 20 caches 3 sub-prompts:
  • [0027]
    #17 “turn left”
  • [0028]
    #18 “Howell Street”
  • [0029]
    #19 “4th Avenue”.
  • [0030]
    The tag identifiers for the (a) and (b) voice prompts include tag identifiers for the sub-prompts (i.e. a=#17 #18; b=#17 #19). So in effect, in this alternate embodiment, each tag is a series of sub-tags. Server 16 may send just the tag identifiers for the sub-prompts. Processor 20 combines the sub-prompts according to the order the tag identifiers were received and presents the combination to the user.
  • [0031]
    Maps can also be cached at TCU 14. When a route is retrieved, a request is made for additional maps that either intersect the route or are within a specified proximity of any point along the route. For example, when a route is retrieved, a request is made for one square mile maps that either intersect the route or are within one mile of any point along the route. The present invention preferably uses a uniform map size and position, for example based on one square mile map tiles, regularly spaced and non-overlapping, thereby making map retrieval and caching easy
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of an alternative process performed by system 10 shown in FIG. 1. First, at block 80, the user sends a trip request to server 16 (see blocks 50-56 of FIG. 2). At block 82, the server calculates a trip plan, creates a trip plan table according to the calculated trip plan, and sends the trip plan table to the user's TCU 14. The trip plan table includes locations and associated navigation (preferably voice) prompts. At block 84, as the user is traveling according to their trip plan, TCU 14 compares the vehicle's present location (preferably GPS generated) to the received table. At decision block 86, if the vehicle's present location is not in the trip plan table, the process returns to block 84, where it continues comparing the vehicle's present location to the entries in the trip plan table. If there is a corresponding location entry in the trip plan table, the logic proceeds to decision block 88. At decision block 88, if the table has a corresponding stored voice prompt, TCU 14 retrieves and plays the corresponding stored voice prompt (block 90). If, at decision block 88, TCU 14 determines that a corresponding voice prompt does not exist in the table or elsewhere in memory 28, the TCU sends a request to the server to send a voice prompt according to a tag identifier that indicates the missing voice prompt (block 92). At block 94, server 16 sends the requested voice prompt. At block 96, the TCU plays the received voice prompt. At block 98, the TCU stores the received voice prompt for possible later use. At block 100, the TCU purges saved voice prompts according to a scheduled purge request, to a user purge request, or to a purge request sent from the server 16.
  • [0033]
    In an alternate embodiment, the steps performed at blocks 82-84 are performed at server 16, and the server does not send the table to the requester, but compares the vehicle's present location (GPS generated) to the server-generated table. If an associated voice prompt is present, the server sends a tag identifier associated with the voice prompt to TCU 14. The TCU compares the sent tag identifier to previously received voice prompts that are stored in memory 28 according to assigned tag identifiers. If an appropriate voice prompt is in memory 28, processor 20 retrieves it and presents it to the user via user interface 22. If a voice prompt is not found, TCU 14 sends a request to server 16 for the actual voice prompt, which is presented to the user when received from the server.
  • [0034]
    In one embodiment, the generated trip plan includes a voice overview of the generated trip plan. The longest stretches of road in the trip plan, preferably the four longest stretches of road, are determined. The determined longest stretches are converted to voice and included in the voice overview in the order in which the stretches occur in the trip plan. For example, if one is to travel from Seattle to San Francisco, the voice overview is as follows: “I-5 South, I-205 South, I-5 South, I-80 West.” A stretch of road in the trip is selected for the voice overview based on a stretch of length threshold value, the length of the stretch relative to other stretches in the trip plan, or an identifier associated with a stretch that identifies the stretch of road as a trip overview stretch of road.
  • [0035]
    For shorter trips, the effective lengths of the road segments are preferably altered by adding lengths of minor stretches of adjacent or connected road to the road segments. For example, if a short trip takes a person onto a highway and then off that highway at the next exit, that segment of road (the highway) is relatively short. The length of the onramp and off ramp is added to the highway segment to give the highway segment more length so that it can be used in a trip plan overview for a short trip. In other words, if a highway segment is 0.25 miles long, and the preceding onramp and following off ramp are 0.1 and 0.35 miles, respectively, the device that generates the trip plan overview considers the ramps as part of the highway segment. In this case, the highway segment is considered 0.7 miles long.
  • [0036]
    In another embodiment, server 16 generates a tour guide trip plan table or presents tour guide information while in an area. A driver that is new in town, such as a tourist or a business traveler, requests tour guide information. TCU 14 receives tour guide voice prompts and associated location information from server 16 based on vehicle location information sent to server 16 and the user's request. TCU 14 presents a tour guide voice prompt if the vehicle's location is within a threshold distance of the location associated with the voice prompt. An example voice prompt is: “The church approaching on your left is historically significant. Would you like to hear about it?” With the driver's acceptance, TCU 14 plays a recorded script received from server 16. The recorded script could be read as text-to-speech, or from pre-recorded voice talent. The driver is given the option of hearing more about the church, or possibly moving to other topics (i.e., other churches in the area, general information about regional architecture, etc.)
  • [0037]
    In an alternate embodiment, server 16 responds to specific service requests made by a user while traveling. For example, a user may wish to know about the nearest location of some kind of business service. For example, while on a road trip the kids in a vehicle are getting hungry and want pizza. The driver tells TCU 14 that they want to know where the nearest pizza parlor is. The pizza parlor request and present vehicle location information are sent to the server 16. Server 16 determines if any pizza parlors are proximate to the vehicle based on the vehicle location information, and sends information about proximate pizza parlors to TCU 14. TCU 14 announces when a pizza parlor is nearby, or provides the distance and directions to the nearest pizza parlor. The response from server 16 may be immediate, or may take some time before server 16 identifies a proximate pizza parlor. Other businesses or service requests could be banks, supermarkets, drug stores, etc.
  • [0038]
    In an alternate embodiment, extra maps, navigation information, or other information are sent to TCU 14 when server 16 determines that the vehicle is coming close to the edge of a wireless communication coverage area. Server 16 makes this determination based on vehicle coordinate information sent to server 16 by TCU 14 and known wireless coverage information or based on a strength value of any signals communicated between TCU 14 and server 16. In one embodiment, after server 16 determines that the vehicle is coming close to the edge of a wireless communication coverage area, a prompt is sent to TCU 14. The prompt asks the user if they desire to receive the extra maps, navigation information, or other information. If the user positively responds to the prompt, TCU 14 notifies server 16 to send the associated information. Then, server 16 sends the associated information.
  • [0039]
    In another embodiment, an area information prompt is sent to TCU 14 by server 16. The area information prompt asks the user if they wish to receive information about areas (neighborhoods/towns) that the user will be traveling through, or information about the next N miles of the user's present trip. If the user positively responds to the area information prompt, TCU 14 notifies server 16 to send the associated information. Then, server 16 sends the associated information.
  • [0040]
    In another embodiment, server 16 sends map display information via network 18 to TCU 14. TCU 14 uses a personal data assistant (PDA—Windows CE, Palm, etc.) as a display device to present the sent map display information. The customer plugs the PDA into a car-mounted cradle that provides a wired connection to TCU 14. The PDA may also be connected to TCU 14 via a wireless connection, for example bluetooth/802.11, when within a predetermined distance from TCU 14. In the wireless example, TCU 14 or radio module 26 and the PDA include wireless communication components for sending and receiving wireless communication to and from the PDA. When a PDA is coupled to TCU 14, the PDA becomes the display device of TCU user interface 22. Processor 20 of TCU 14 sends map display information received from server 16 to the PDA. The PDA includes a display processor that processes the received map display information and displays the processed map display information on the display of the PDA. The PDA may also directly display the map display information on the display of the PDA if the map display information is in the display format of the PDA.
  • [0041]
    The map display information includes details information. The details information includes more information about features shown in the displayed map. The PDA may include an application program that allows the user to view more information about a road feature or a more complicated feature displayed on the map presented on the display of the PDA. By clicking on the road or more complicated feature, like a park or coastline, the application program retrieves feature name and perhaps other feature information based on the details information, and highlights or presents the retrieved information on the display of the PDA.
  • [0042]
    A destination address may be selected out of an address book in the driver's PDA. The selected destination address is sent to server 16, whereby the server sends map information to TCU 14 based on the sent destination address. Then, TCU 14 displays the received map information on the PDA display.
  • [0043]
    While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the types of communication between the vehicle and the server may be all wireless, the components of the server may be distributed over the network, and the location identifier may be a non-satellite system that determines vehicle location based on ground-based transmitters. Also, the order of the steps performed in the described embodiments may be altered without departing from the scope of the invention. By way of example, steps performed at blocks 96 and 98, playing and storing received voice prompts, could be performed in the reverse order. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4052568 *23 Apr 19764 Oct 1977Communications Satellite CorporationDigital voice switch
US4759212 *1 Dec 198626 Jul 1988Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaAbnormality determination device for a vehicle speed sensor
US4827500 *30 Jan 19872 May 1989American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesAutomatic speech recognition to select among call destinations
US4876710 *5 Jan 198724 Oct 1989Motorola, Inc.Method and apparatus for cordless microphone communication system
US4878170 *17 Mar 198831 Oct 1989Zeevi Eliahu IVehicle navigation system
US4918732 *25 May 198917 Apr 1990Motorola, Inc.Frame comparison method for word recognition in high noise environments
US5029233 *9 Oct 19872 Jul 1991Motorola, Inc.Radio arrangement having two radios sharing circuitry
US5062132 *27 Dec 198929 Oct 1991Sony CorporationTelephone apparatus providing for automatic transfer of stored data between handsets
US5357513 *9 Sep 199318 Oct 1994Hughes Aircraft CompanyTransmission power level adjustment in radio telephony
US5414624 *8 Nov 19939 May 1995Avid Systems CorporationAutomated vehicle parking system
US5539810 *28 Dec 199323 Jul 1996Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Data messaging in a communications network
US5564796 *10 Mar 199515 Oct 1996Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaTraction control device for vehicle
US5570087 *18 Feb 199429 Oct 1996Lemelson; Jerome H.Motor vehicle performance monitor and method
US5649055 *29 Sep 199515 Jul 1997Hughes ElectronicsVoice activity detector for speech signals in variable background noise
US5668854 *6 Oct 199516 Sep 1997International Business Machine Corp.Distributed system for call processing
US5712788 *9 Feb 199527 Jan 1998Zexel CorporationIncremental route calculation
US5719921 *29 Feb 199617 Feb 1998Nynex Science & TechnologyMethods and apparatus for activating telephone services in response to speech
US5729531 *18 Oct 199517 Mar 1998Telefonaktiebolaget Lm EricssonBandwidth allocation
US5732074 *16 Jan 199624 Mar 1998Cellport Labs, Inc.Mobile portable wireless communication system
US5749072 *28 Dec 19955 May 1998Motorola Inc.Communications device responsive to spoken commands and methods of using same
US5761638 *17 Mar 19952 Jun 1998Us West IncTelephone network apparatus and method using echo delay and attenuation
US5777580 *1 Mar 19957 Jul 1998Trimble Navigation LimitedVehicle location system
US5805079 *17 Jun 19968 Sep 1998Lemelson; Jerome H.Motor vehicle performance monitor and method
US5867780 *18 Dec 19972 Feb 1999Jeman Technologies, Inc.Access free wireless telephony fulfillment service system
US5870667 *14 Jun 19969 Feb 1999Mediaone Group, Inc.Support system architecture for use in a communications network environment enabling automatic provisioning, change in service and maintenance
US5877723 *5 Mar 19972 Mar 1999Caterpillar Inc.System and method for determining an operating point
US5937355 *8 Aug 199710 Aug 1999Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)Emergency call handling in a cellular telecommunication system
US5940481 *5 Feb 199717 Aug 1999Shlomo ZeitmanParking management system
US5940503 *7 Nov 199417 Aug 1999Palett; Anthony P.Mirror mounted mobile telephone system
US5943429 *12 Jan 199624 Aug 1999Telefonaktiebolaget Lm EricssonSpectral subtraction noise suppression method
US5945985 *20 May 199631 Aug 1999Technology International, Inc.Information system for interactive access to geographic information
US5946343 *24 Apr 199831 Aug 1999L. S. Research, Inc.Digital wireless speaker system
US5956683 *4 Apr 199621 Sep 1999Qualcomm IncorporatedDistributed voice recognition system
US5960399 *24 Dec 199728 Sep 1999Gte Internetworking IncorporatedClient/server speech processor/recognizer
US5963861 *5 Apr 19965 Oct 1999Lucent Technologies Inc.Dealer-locator service and apparatus for mobile telecommunications system
US6011786 *6 Jun 19974 Jan 2000Ericsson Inc.Systems and methods for control channel communication in cellular radiotelephone systems
US6019475 *23 Aug 19961 Feb 2000Donnelly CorporationModular rearview mirror assembly including an electronic control module
US6037880 *23 Sep 199714 Mar 2000Manion; Jeffrey CharlesIntegrated parking meter system
US6044266 *22 Aug 199728 Mar 2000Nec CorporationMethod and apparatus for transmitting data packets over voice channel
US6052604 *3 Oct 199718 Apr 2000Motorola, Inc.Exchange which controls M SIMs and N transceivers and method therefor
US6085428 *26 Aug 199711 Jul 2000Snap-On Technologies, Inc.Hands free automotive service system
US6105060 *5 Sep 199715 Aug 2000Worldspace, Inc.System for providing global portable internet access using low earth orbit satellite and satellite direct radio broadcast system
US6111539 *12 Mar 199829 Aug 2000British Telecommunications Public Limited CompanyNavigation information system
US6111964 *11 Sep 199729 Aug 2000Sony CorporationMicrophone device navigation system, communication device, audio device, and motor vehicle
US6125284 *6 Mar 199526 Sep 2000Cable & Wireless PlcCommunication system with handset for distributed processing
US6199013 *15 Jul 19976 Mar 2001Navigation Technologies Corp.Maneuver generation program and method
US6202008 *10 Sep 199913 Mar 2001Microsoft CorporationVehicle computer system with wireless internet connectivity
US6206283 *23 Dec 199827 Mar 2001At&T Corp.Method and apparatus for transferring money via a telephone call
US6208927 *9 Sep 199827 Mar 2001Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaVehicle maneuvering control device
US6212473 *20 Sep 19993 Apr 2001Ford Global Technologies, Inc.Vehicle navigation system having inferred user preferences
US6233452 *2 Jul 199815 May 2001International Business Machines CorporationWireless information processing terminal and controlling method thereof
US6240365 *30 Sep 199829 May 2001Frank E. BunnAutomated vehicle tracking and service provision system
US6243003 *25 Aug 19995 Jun 2001Donnelly CorporationAccessory module for vehicle
US6249233 *22 Oct 199919 Jun 2001Baran Advanced Technologies (86) Ltd.Vehicle parking system
US6275231 *1 Aug 199714 Aug 2001American Calcar Inc.Centralized control and management system for automobiles
US6279946 *9 Jun 199928 Aug 2001Automotive Technologies International Inc.Methods for controlling a system in a vehicle using a transmitting/receiving transducer and/or while compensating for thermal gradients
US6292781 *28 May 199918 Sep 2001MotorolaMethod and apparatus for facilitating distributed speech processing in a communication system
US6336090 *30 Nov 19981 Jan 2002Lucent Technologies Inc.Automatic speech/speaker recognition over digital wireless channels
US6349329 *29 Sep 199819 Feb 2002Radiowave.Com, Inc.Coordinating delivery of supplemental materials with radio broadcast material
US6351698 *27 Jan 200026 Feb 2002Kabushikikaisha Equos ResearchInteractive vehicle control system
US6353785 *6 Nov 20005 Mar 2002Navagation Technologies Corp.Method and system for an in-vehicle computer architecture
US6363324 *17 Jun 200026 Mar 2002David M HildebrantVehicle location system
US6370237 *29 Dec 19989 Apr 2002Alcatel Usa Sourcing, LpVoice activated dialing with reduced storage requirements
US6370506 *4 Oct 19999 Apr 2002Ericsson Inc.Communication devices, methods, and computer program products for transmitting information using voice activated signaling to perform in-call functions
US6374214 *24 Jun 199916 Apr 2002International Business Machines Corp.Method and apparatus for excluding text phrases during re-dictation in a speech recognition system
US6377210 *25 Feb 200023 Apr 2002Grey Island Systems, Inc.Automatic mobile object locator apparatus and method
US6389332 *1 May 200014 May 2002Daimlerchrysler AgInformation system and process in a vehicle
US6389389 *13 Oct 199914 May 2002Motorola, Inc.Speech recognition using unequally-weighted subvector error measures for determining a codebook vector index to represent plural speech parameters
US6393403 *22 Jun 199821 May 2002Nokia Mobile Phones LimitedMobile communication devices having speech recognition functionality
US6405027 *8 Dec 199911 Jun 2002Philips Electronics N.A. CorporationGroup call for a wireless mobile communication device using bluetooth
US6408272 *12 Apr 199918 Jun 2002General Magic, Inc.Distributed voice user interface
US6421607 *22 Sep 200016 Jul 2002Motorola, Inc.System and method for distributed navigation service
US6441790 *14 Jun 200127 Aug 2002Kyocera Wireless Corp.System and method for providing a quasi-isotropic antenna
US6453020 *23 Feb 199817 Sep 2002International Business Machines CorporationVoice processing system
US6516466 *2 May 19964 Feb 2003Vincent C. JacksonMethod and apparatus for portable digital entertainment system
US6526335 *24 Jan 200025 Feb 2003G. Victor TreyzAutomobile personal computer systems
US6526486 *1 Jun 200125 Feb 2003Nokia Mobile Phones LimitedMethod of managing messages in a computer memory
US6615381 *9 Jun 19992 Sep 2003Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Digital data transmitting/receiving method, base station unit used for transmitting/receiving digital data, and mobile object terminal unit used for transmitting/receiving digital data
US6628928 *10 Dec 199930 Sep 2003Ecarmerce IncorporatedInternet-based interactive radio system for use with broadcast radio stations
US6691026 *10 May 200210 Feb 2004Intellisist, LlcVehicle navigation system and method
US6765497 *18 Dec 200020 Jul 2004Motorola, Inc.Method for remotely accessing vehicle system information and user information in a vehicle
US6779196 *22 Jun 199817 Aug 2004Phillip IgbinadolorIntegrated car dubbing system
US6895238 *30 Mar 200117 May 2005Motorola, Inc.Method for providing entertainment to a portable device
US20010010500 *15 Dec 20002 Aug 2001Henrik LundinAdaptively calibrating analog-to-digital conversion
US20010014863 *26 Dec 200016 Aug 2001Williams Lawrence E.Methods and systems for providing life management and enhancement applications and services for telematics and other electronic medium
US20010016500 *2 Jan 200123 Aug 2001Neopoint, Inc.System and method for enhanced wireless communication features
US20010020211 *3 Jan 20016 Sep 2001Kuniharu TakayamaNavigation information presenting apparatus and method thereof
US20010021646 *12 Mar 200113 Sep 2001Lucent Technologies Inc.System and method for routing special number calls in a telecommunication network
US20020028655 *22 Dec 20007 Mar 2002Rosener Douglas K.Repeater system
US20020065037 *29 Nov 200030 May 2002Messina Andrew AlbertTelematics application for implementation in conjunction with a satellite broadcast delivery system
US20020068543 *3 Oct 20016 Jun 2002At&T Wireless Services, Inc.Sharing of wireless telephone services for a personal wireless telephone and a vehicular wireless telephone
US20020069071 *30 Jul 20016 Jun 2002Knockeart Ronald P.User interface for telematics systems
US20020075168 *18 Dec 200020 Jun 2002Ablay Sewim F.Method for remotely accessing vehicle system information and user information in a vehicle
US20020111172 *14 Feb 200115 Aug 2002Dewolf Frederik M.Location based profiling
US20020113203 *29 Nov 200122 Aug 2002Donnelly CorporationVehicle interior rearview mirror assembly including an accessory-containing housing
US20020130639 *4 Sep 200119 Sep 2002Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki KaishaPower conversion apparatus
US20030169160 *9 Jan 200311 Sep 2003Alejandro Rodriguez BarrosRear-view mirror with multiple interchangeable signals for vehicles with two, three, four or more wheels
US20040110515 *20 Aug 200310 Jun 2004Blumberg Brad W.System and method for providing information based on geographic position
US20050028208 *26 Aug 20043 Feb 2005United Video Properties, Inc.Interactive television program guide with remote access
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US791263725 Jun 200722 Mar 2011Microsoft CorporationLandmark-based routing
US88623858 May 200814 Oct 2014Microsoft CorporationProviding augmented travel directions
US919416821 Nov 201424 Nov 2015Google Inc.Unlock and authentication for autonomous vehicles
US943261125 Feb 201530 Aug 2016Rockwell Collins, Inc.Voice radio tuning
US94361828 Aug 20146 Sep 2016Google Inc.Autonomous vehicles
US954730721 Nov 201417 Jan 2017Google Inc.Attempting to pull over for autonomous vehicles
US959947731 Aug 201521 Mar 2017Google Inc.Specifying unavailable locations for autonomous vehicles
US963193329 Aug 201425 Apr 2017Google Inc.Specifying unavailable locations for autonomous vehicles
US973309622 Jun 201515 Aug 2017Waymo LlcDetermining pickup and destination locations for autonomous vehicles
US20080281517 *7 May 200813 Nov 2008Ian CummingsApparatus and methods for reducing data transmission in wireless client-server navigation systems
US20090281726 *8 May 200812 Nov 2009Microsoft CorporationProviding augmented travel diretions
US20150294664 *23 Jun 201515 Oct 2015Sony CorporationNavigation device and information providing method
CN102901503A *22 Oct 201230 Jan 2013杭州九树网络科技有限公司Navigation information transmitting system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification701/420
International ClassificationG01C21/36, G01C21/34, G01C21/00, G01S19/48
Cooperative ClassificationG01C21/3629, G08G1/0968, G01C21/3644
European ClassificationG01C21/36G5, G01C21/36G1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
17 Nov 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: INTELLISIST INC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: RELEASE;ASSIGNOR:SILICON VALLEY BANK;REEL/FRAME:021838/0877
Effective date: 20081113
31 Dec 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: WI-GUI, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INTELLISIST, INC., A WASHINGTON CORPORATION, DBA SPOKEN COMMUNICATIONS;REEL/FRAME:022052/0084
Effective date: 20081029
5 May 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: WI-GUI, LLC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:INTELLISIST, INC.;REEL/FRAME:022668/0032
Effective date: 20081029
9 Dec 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: SQUARE 1 BANK, NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:INTELLISIST, INC. DBA SPOKEN COMMUNICATIONS;REEL/FRAME:023627/0412
Effective date: 20091207
16 Aug 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: INTELLISIST, INC. D/B/A SPOKEN COMMUNICATIONS, WAS
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SQUARE 1 BANK;REEL/FRAME:024838/0814
Effective date: 20100721
10 Aug 2011FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
6 Jul 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: LICENSE;ASSIGNOR:WINGCAST, LLC;REEL/FRAME:028504/0518
Effective date: 20001016
16 May 2013ASAssignment
Owner name: PROMIND CO., LTD., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WI-GUI, LLC;REEL/FRAME:030426/0395
Effective date: 20130116
17 Dec 2013ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PROMIND CO., LTD.;REEL/FRAME:031831/0807
Effective date: 20130930
5 Aug 2015FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8